The Newham Youngbloods Lions U16 Premier Boys returned to action this weekend in their first encounter in 2017 at Home, as they faced off against classic London Rivals Southwark Pride as both teams look to start 2017 in a positive fashion.
Youngbloods started the faster of the two sides racing into a 10-0 lead with scores from Orestas Vasilauskas, Laja Ogidan and Richmond Ariyo forcing Southwark Pride coach in taking a timeout. This sparked a first score for the visiting side as they looked to establish themselves in the game. Alex Distras sprung to life scoring the next four points to extend the home side advantage to 15 points ahead midway through the first quarter. Dalton Bally’s introduction to the game provided further impetus as he was fouled twice in quick succession whilst shooting converting all his points from the free-throw line along with Titus Warari who convertedted his scoring opportunity and was found successfully completing the and-1 play sinking his free shot from the charity stripe, giving the Home Side early advantage 24-10 at the end of the first period.
Distras, Vasilauskas and Ogidan led the charge over the opening 5 minutes of the second period helping their side on a 14-2 scoring run with Youngbloods ahead 38-12 midway through the second period as Emmanuel Oleh, Nathan Kataraka and Nathan Mburu defensively gave Youngbloods further energy on the Offensive and Defensive end of the floor to help the Newham side to a 45-29 half-time lead.
Distras once again started proceedings in the third quarter as the Home-Side suffered from a slow start giving Southwark Pride momentum in closing the game to a 9 point game half way through the third. Energy provided from Teon Boente-Edwards and Franklin Agu started off a momentum change as he was fouled on the way to the basket converting 1/2 from the line before two three points shot from deep from Vasilauskas along with strong Ogidan post move helping Youngbloods to a another scoring run 13-2 in the final 3 minutes of the third period restoring Youngbloods lead to 21 points, 63-42 at the end of the third.
Youngbloods continued much of the same in the fourth quarter as they closed out the game as winners with a final score of 80-61.
“It was a good performance from the boys, sloppy play at stages but to be expected as this is their first game in a month. Preparations are ongoing for their National Cup Semi Final appearance in a couple of weeks” said Coach Stephen Onireti who stood in for Coach Aaron Senior’s absence. Youngbloods U16 Premier Boys return to action again at Home Next Week against Oaklands Wolves.